SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A campaign visit to Scotch Plains led to a confrontation between Gov. Chris Christie and a local father over the use of medical marijuana for children.
The parents of little Vivian Wilson, who’s 2 and a half, wrote a letter earlier this month to the governor, urging him to sign a measure that would make medical marijuana easily accessible to children like their own.
“Please don’t let my daughter die, Governor. Don’t let my daughter die,” Brian Wilson implored Gov. Christie on Wednesday.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, it was a tense exchange between the governor and a dad who just didn’t want to take no for an answer.
“I was wondering what the holdup is. It’s been like two months now,” Wilson pressed the governor.
“These are complicated issues,” Gov. Christie responded to Wilson.
“Very simple issue,” the father shot back.
“No, I know you think it’s simple…I know you think it’s simple and it’s not,” Christie said.
At the end of their exchange, Christie told Wilson he’d decide in the coming days whether to sign the bill.
“I’ll have a decision by Friday. I wish for the best for you, your daughter and your family and I’m going to do what I think is best for the people of the state,” Christie told Wilson.
Vivian Wilson has Dravet Syndrome, a severe and potentially deadly form of epilepsy. The Wilsons say Vivian has multiple seizures every day.
She wears glasses because even the light can trigger a seizure. She’s stopped breathing twice.
Her parents say a strain of marijuana that doesn’t give users a high is the only thing that helps her. But the state’s medical marijuana law, they say, prevents them from getting what she needs.
The Wilsons and other parents with children like Vivian have been fighting to have a bill approved that would allow kids to take marijuana in different forms, like pills or oils.
The strain they need requires less THC — the ingredient that gets people high — and more of something called CBD.
The law is very strict about what can be administered and even requires three different doctors to sign off on the prescriptions for their kids.
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, the state Legislature has passed the bill. It’s just awaiting Christie’s signature.
The Wilsons want Christie to sign a bill allowing Vivian to take medical marijuana, which they say would ease her symptoms.
The governor has been non-committal on the issue.
“Every day, she’s dying more and more and he keeps on wanting to think about this bill,” Wilson told Haskell.
The Wilson family said if Christie vetoes the bill, they’ll have no choice but to move to Colorado where they can get what they need for their daughter.
Christie has said in the past that he’s examining the legislation.
“I want to make sure that if we do it, we do it in a way that’s helpful to children – does not reduce any of the requirements of the program to make sure that this does not go down a slippery slope,” Christie has said.
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